Desert Rainbow - Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan
What's to shoot?
Pushkar town, close to Ajmer in Rajasthan, is a photographers delight. The town is set around the holy lake and is fringed by 500 temples and 52 bathing ghats. Every year thousands of devotees throng the lake around the full moon day of Kartik Purnima in October-November to take a holy dip in the lake. The huge and colorful cattle fair "The Pushkar Camel Fair", is also held during this time. The fair activities which last for 9 days can be spilt into two halves - The first belonging to the Camel Trade Fair and the second half is when the religious crowds come in to celebrate the Full Moon of Kartik (Nov) month.
There are more photographic subjects here than anywhere in Rajasthan. The light, like in all of the desert is special with a lot of haze. This haze creates great sunrise and sunset photo scenes. Each year, up to 100,000 people flock to Pushkar for the Camel Fair, bringing with them some 50,000 camels and cattle for several days of pilgrimage, horse dealing, camel racing and colorful festivities.
History of Pushkar
Pushkar is one of the oldest places of India. The date of its actual founding is not known, but legend associates Lord Brahma with its creation. Ramayan mentions Pushkar and says that Vishvamitra performed tapa here. It further says that Apsara Menaka came to Pushkara to bathe in its sacred waters.
According to a legend, back in time, Lord Brahma was flying over the Rajasthan desert on his swan, when some petals fell from his hand and drifted down. Miraculously, blue lakes sprang up where the flowers had touched the soft sands. Just then, Lord Brahma realized that this was the auspicious moment to perform a fire sacrifice or yagna. His wife Savitri was not with him at that time and the yagna would be incomplete without her. So Brahma married a local girl and sat down for the without her. Meanwhile Savitri landed on earth and upon finding this new bride sitting next to Brahma, she was raged with fury and cursed him that he would never be worshipped anywhere else on earth. It is interesting that Brahma is not worshipped, even though he is one of the Holy Trinity of Hinduism.
Ever since then, when the full moon shines on Purnima during the autumn period of kartik, the desert tribes meet to commemorate this epic event.
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About the author
Kishore Dagia was born in Mumbai on November 25, 1961.
With a succeeesful career behind him - as the Sales Director of large multinational project engineering companies, Kishore decided to plunge and formalize his interest in photography into a passion.The desire to see the extraordinary in simple people and ordinary places, has shaped his creative vision. His passion can be summed up in his own words - I loved what I saw, and since I could not paint, I took to capturing images on digital - to recreate and preserve life forever."
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